You are here
A leader in treating haematological cancers
PATIENTS from around the world have benefited from Parkway Cancer Centre's (PCC) comprehensive and holistic approach to treating haematological cancers, or cancers of the blood. The field of haematology covers a broad spectrum of blood disorders, with the World Health Organization estimating that there are as many as 72 types and sub-types of this form of cancer.
With one of the largest and most experienced teams of haematologists in Singapore - comprising three oncologists and one paediatric oncologist - PCC is able to offer specialised care for the management of a wide range of adult and childhood conditions, including leukaemia and lymphoma, among many others.
Significantly, this core group of haematologists is supported by dedicated transplant physicians, oncology and transplant nurses, transplant coordinators, counsellors and allied health professionals. The breadth of its resources allows PCC to adopt a holistic approach to care that enhances the patient journey and results in better healthcare outcomes.
Treatments provided by the haematology oncology team range from intensive chemotherapy, molecular targeted therapy and novel immunotherapy to stem cell transplantation. For each patient, the team devises a personalised treatment plan that aims to optimise clinical outcomes.
"In all diseases, especially cancers, it is important to be able to see patients as individuals in need of treatment that extends beyond specialised investigations and medications. This is best achieved by a multidisciplinary team approach that identifies the patient's medical and emotional needs, preferences and values," said Dr Colin Phipps Diong, Senior Consultant, Haematology Oncology at PCC.
"We are able to draw on the collective expertise of our multidisciplinary team and use our knowledge bank of experience gleaned from successfully treating some of the most challenging and complex cases. Being at the fore of medical advancements gives us the capability and confidence to provide our patients with current treatment options," he added.
A Pioneer in Bone Marrow Transplantation
Reflecting the depth of its expertise in this specialised field, PCC is the only private healthcare provider that offers a comprehensive adult and paediatric blood and bone marrow transplant programme. Indeed, the centre's haematology team performed the first bone marrow transplant in a private hospital setting in Singapore more than two decades ago.
Bone marrow transplantation, known formally as haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, is a specialised procedure which has proven to be effective in treating many types of cancers, as well as blood and autoimmune disorders such as leukaemia and lymphoma.
Since the 1950s, more than one million transplants have been performed globally, with the success of the procedure largely dependent on the skill and experience of the multidisciplinary transplant team. Transplant specialists at the PCC Haematology and Stem Cell Transplant Centre perform transplants from family members, unrelated donors, and cord blood, for a range of conditions, both non-malignant (thalassaemia, aplastic anaemia) and malignant (acute leukaemias, lymphoma, myeloma).
These specialists have extensive experience in bone marrow transplants in both adult and paediatric patients, having trained and worked at some of the leading transplant centres around the world.
Even though stem cell transplantation has been proven to save lives, there are still risks associated with the procedure. At PCC, these risks are clearly explained to the patients and caregivers before they consent to the procedure. "Complex treatment decisions are regularly discussed between the transplant physicians to formulate an optimal plan for our patients," explained Dr Diong.
The transplantation process involves several important stages: Conditioning where the patient receives chemotherapy and/or radiation to kill the diseased cells and to change the immune system; infusion of healthy stem cells into the body to replace the damaged cells; engraftment, when the transplanted stem cells begin to grow and produce healthy red and white blood cells and platelets over the course of two to four weeks; and post-transplant recovery where the "new" immune system matures and develops the ability to fight infections and blood cancer cells.
Looking ahead, PCC will continue to develop its expertise and services to stay ahead of the curve in treating haematological cancers. "We are always looking ahead. It is important that we build our team further to broaden our regional footprint and expand services to bring our patients access to cutting-edge science like CAR T-cell therapies," said Dr Diong.
"In this regard, we strive to develop services, infrastructure, and facilities that are internationally accredited together with our partners in Parkway. At the same time we will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that cost is manageable and more patients have access to our transplant services."
PCC's holistic philosophy
- Holistic - We believe that the best way to deliver complex care is through a dedicated team of professionals that address our patient's physical, mental and emotional health.
- Ongoing in our journey to improve patient care and outcomes.
- Looking after the patient's best interests.
- Individualised therapy that best targets a patient's disease.
- Supportive of patient's needs and preferences.
- Thoughtful in delivery of highly specialised care.
- Involving patients in the decision-making process.
- Coordination and continuity of care to alleviate patient's feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability.